I grew up in a suburb of Detroit Michigan, a city I loved. I was 15 years old when the Detroit riots hit. It was the first time I remember thinking something is terribly wrong with this picture. How do we even begin to fix this massive inequity? It was the very beginning of my social justice thinking that has continued to evolve to this day.
When I was 22, I had my daughter Naomi in a tiny apartment with my partner on Broadway Street in Ann Arbor Michigan. I became a single parent 3 years later and started to get an intimate taste of social injustice. Women, to this day, do not get equal pay to the man’s counterpart for equal work. And to make matters worse, according to “expert” parenting knowledge at the time, my daughter was doomed for failure as was I because we were part of a single parent household.
I moved to San Francisco in 1984 seeking a better life for my daughter, and I immediately became involved in nonprofits. I started to volunteer at my daughter’s elementary school through a nonprofit that specialized in drug prevention for elementary school children. It was where I realized how important a great business was to a community.
I founded a successful not-for-profit in 1993 that I was the Executive Director for 25 years and retired in April 2019. I started with a 3-year State grant from the Office of Child Abuse Prevention on creating healthy communities. Out of necessity and in the earlier days, I performed practically every job imaginable including childcare worker, janitor, program creator, facilitator of all of our processes, community organizer, networker, fundraiser, outreach worker and strategist, and strategic planner. I'd love to share my expertise with you and your team.
I have written a book called R.E.S.P.E.C.T. (see values) It details my personal experiences starting a nonprofit business from scratch, with real life stories illustrating the main themes of the book.